Early Tuesday morning, the group set out from the ADRA center for our meeting with the municipality. We had three primary objectives: to talk about supplies, money, and to give the municipality drawing designs for Japura and our previous water projects. When we arrived in Pitumarca, we were almost immediately granted an interview with the secretary general and the architect. The meeting was productive, and we covered all three points without issue. The only thing remaining is for the architect to review our final project designs in order to approve the final muni payment.

            After concluding our meeting, we headed up to Japura to start construction. To our surprise, there wasn’t a lot for us to do! Two locals – one from Suyo and other from Qqelca – had been hired to dig holes, place the solar panels posts, and pour cement. The men in charge knew just what to do, and we didn’t want to get in their way. Diana, one of our team members, observed that the man working in Suyo, who is 58, “is in better shape than most of us. He had a task, and he completed the task without a break.” We are used to doing more manual labor during our implementation trips, but it’s very encouraging to see such a high level of local participation! The more the community is involved in the project, the more likely it will succeed long-term.

            Team members spent the day building relationships with the community members, conducting pre-installation surveys (so we can later measure the project impact), taking videos and photos, and aiding in the construction process in any way we could. Quite a few posts were installed all over Suyo, and the plan for tomorrow is to divide into groups and continue construction in Suyo and start in Qqelca. A third group will visit Patiñeque, a community about an hour’s hike from Suyo, to assist in maintenance of the water system EWB installed there two years ago. Overall, we had a productive day (especially in our muni meeting), and we plan to be even more productive tomorrow!